President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday.Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled diplomat cut short a trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington.
Tension between Trump and Tillerson has simmered for many months, but the president and his top diplomat reached a breaking point over the past week, officials said.
The reason for the latest rift was unclear. A spokesman for Tillerson said the secretary of state “had every intention of staying” in his job and was “unaware of the reason” for his firing.
Trump has selected Pompeo to replace him at the State Department, and Gina Haspel — the deputy director at the CIA — to succeed him at the CIA. She would become the first woman to run the spy agency.